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General Category => Equipment and Software => Topic started by: James Lorden on August 18, 2011, 03:00:22 PM

Title: Question for conical users?
Post by: James Lorden on August 18, 2011, 03:00:22 PM
Do any of you dump trub before pitching yeast?  This is recommended in Noonan's book on lager brewing.  If so, how long after filling the conical are you waiting before pitching?

(never would have considered this with my old whirlpool immersion chiller but the therminator moves all of the break material into the fermentor)
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: blatz on August 18, 2011, 03:12:24 PM
Do any of you dump trub before pitching yeast?  This is recommended in Noonan's book on lager brewing.  If so, how long after filling the conical are you waiting before pitching?

(never would have considered this with my old whirlpool immersion chiller but the therminator moves all of the break material into the fermentor)

James - I used to but now I just dump trub when I do a dump at high krausen - this captures all the dead yeast cells as well since the good healthy guys are mostly in suspension.  I'm too lazy to dump twice, and I hate having to wait to pitch - I will do a trub dump and a high krausen dump if I wasn't able to chill below my ferm temp and I have to wait anyways, but I generally chill below ferm temp without a problem.

Just use a clear tube connected to your bottom valve and close the ball valve when it goes from murky/dark to creamy/yeasty color - I'm sure you'll know it when you see it.
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: wiley on August 18, 2011, 03:33:59 PM
Since you're using a plate chiller, I assume you've got a pump. If not, the following will likely be irrelevant:

I just recently started doing a whirlpool knock-down recirculation where I pump the wort through the chiller (I've got a counterflow, but same concept with a plate chiller) at the end of the boil, and put it back into the boil kettle through a whirlpool inlet. I've notice a couple of advantages:
1. You get the whirlpool effect on dropping out the trub/hop particles so not as much makes their way into the conical
2. You bring the temp of the wort in the kettle down so as to limit continual isomerization of late hop additions and retain better hop flavor and aroma

You might try giving that a go and see if you get less trub/hop particles in the conical -- it's been my experience that it helps quite a bit. Cheers!
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: James Lorden on August 18, 2011, 03:56:19 PM
great info guys.  Does anyone have any insight on what the professionals do?

I seem to think that when I brewed in carboys a lot the trub settled out pretty quick.

I do have a pump but in the past I haven't needed to use it and could just gravity feed from my kettle to the fermenter (kettle sits on the second tier of a three tier system).  Figured avoiding the pump was one less contamination point on the cold side.  With the conical I have been contmplating how to fill in a closed system which I suspect will bring the pump back into play.
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: blatz on August 18, 2011, 04:02:39 PM
great info guys.  Does anyone have any insight on what the professionals do?

I have two pro buddies and that's where I got this idea from.  doesn't mean everyone does it, but they do and it seems to work fine for me.

I seem to think that when I brewed in carboys a lot the trub settled out pretty quick.

yes and no - it does drop somewhat quickly(1/2 hour), but it doesn't compact quickly.  the few times I tried to rush and do a dump of CB before pitching I waited maybe 30-60min while I was cleaning everything up and wound up dumping almost 3 quarts of CB filled wort before I decided to stop. if you wait several hours it will compact and you can dump less volume.  or you can do what I said above and kill 2 birds/1 stone.
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: a10t2 on August 18, 2011, 04:07:52 PM
great info guys.  Does anyone have any insight on what the professionals do?

I can't speak for everyone, but I whirlpool, let it settle, then pump through the heat exchanger into the conical, and don't dump until I'm at FG. I have a sight glass inline on the HX output and once trub starts to flow I stop knocking out. IMHO the whole point of a conical is that the the surface area of the trub is small to begin with, and will rapidly be covered by yeast anyway. When I do dump yeast there's only a gallon of trub/dead yeast at most, and that's <1% of my cast-out volume.
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: blatz on August 18, 2011, 04:11:36 PM
great info guys.  Does anyone have any insight on what the professionals do?

I can't speak for everyone, but I whirlpool, let it settle, then pump through the heat exchanger into the conical, and don't dump until I'm at FG. I have a sight glass inline on the HX output and once trub starts to flow I stop knocking out. IMHO the whole point of a conical is that the the surface area of the trub is small to begin with, and will rapidly be covered by yeast anyway. When I do dump yeast there's only a gallon of trub/dead yeast at most, and that's <1% of my cast-out volume.

yeah - I should have qualified - they whirlpool as well and only dump about 1 gal from a 15bbl system of trub once high krausen comes.

sean - you're right about one of the benefits of a conical keeping the surface area of trub small, but if you want to keep the slurry cleaner, no harm in dumping it IMO.  And on the pro level, you're probably using healthier yeast than I am anyway - I repitch a lot, so I like flushing a little - its not much - maybe 1-2 qts of trub plus dead yeast for a 12gal batch
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: wiley on August 18, 2011, 04:17:53 PM
great info guys.  Does anyone have any insight on what the professionals do?

I can't speak for everyone, but I whirlpool, let it settle, then pump through the heat exchanger into the conical, and don't dump until I'm at FG. I have a sight glass inline on the HX output and once trub starts to flow I stop knocking out. IMHO the whole point of a conical is that the the surface area of the trub is small to begin with, and will rapidly be covered by yeast anyway. When I do dump yeast there's only a gallon of trub/dead yeast at most, and that's <1% of my cast-out volume.

How long do you whirlpool for and do you worry about knocking down the wort in the kettle? It seemed I had problems getting aroma / flavor with a 30 min whirlpool without knocking down to 175-180F -- some sources I looked into indicated that isomerization continued at temperatures >190F. Just curious if anyone else encountered this --
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: Pi on August 18, 2011, 05:02:47 PM
I am using glass carboys for fermenting and I dont pay much attention to the amount of trub going into my fermentor. Should I be?
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: tom on August 18, 2011, 06:12:43 PM
It's better to leave the trub behind.
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: mabrungard on August 18, 2011, 07:28:02 PM
I typically ferment 5 to 6 gal batches in my 12 gal conical.  Therefore, I don't get a lot of yeast and trub buildup in the cone and I can typically just touch the top of the yeast cake with the rotating racking cane.  I don't really want to rack off the trub since that would drop that yeast cake interface even lower and I'd end up losing more beer. 

Given the trub drops out fairly early and should be covered by a nice layer of yeast in short time, I'm not sure that wasting off the trub is necessary.
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: a10t2 on August 18, 2011, 08:55:09 PM
How long do you whirlpool for and do you worry about knocking down the wort in the kettle? It seemed I had problems getting aroma / flavor with a 30 min whirlpool without knocking down to 175-180F -- some sources I looked into indicated that isomerization continued at temperatures >190F. Just curious if anyone else encountered this --

10 min whirlpool, then a 20 min hot stand. I add aroma hops (which are only in our IPA) at the end of the active WP and let them settle out during the hot stand. I I don't know that I can really comment on the temperature issue though, since my worts boil at 195-198°F. I do feel that I get excellent aroma in the IPA by doing this.
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: hamiltont on August 18, 2011, 09:33:56 PM
I used to dump the trub (day 2 or 3) but don't anymore. Just before racking I dump most of the trub & then rack the beer off. Once that's done I'll harvest the yeast if that's the plan.  Cheers!!!
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: bluesman on August 18, 2011, 09:57:03 PM
I usually dump the trub after 24 hrs. My concern with dumping the trub is dropping out the highly flocculating yeast that settle first. That's why I try to remember to drop the trub as early as possible, preferably before high krausen.
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: blatz on August 18, 2011, 10:33:10 PM
confused as to what to do yet, James?  ::)
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: James Lorden on August 19, 2011, 03:59:25 AM
Looks like some experimenting is in my future. Bummer >:(
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: blatz on August 19, 2011, 01:04:17 PM
James

Its really dependent on what you are after.  If you're just worried about fermentation, but don't plan on reusing the yeast, then I probably wouldn't even worry about dumping at all, at any point. 

I feel that Martin's comments are more esoteric to his setup (small batch in a bigger conical) and I entirely understand his logic - though in his case, if I was looking to reuse the yeast, I would brew 5.5-6.5gal batches so that I could dump CB/Dead yeast and harvest a better colony but not worry about not being able to filla  keg. 

I think if you're looking at re-pitching, what I suggested will work well for your system.  If you're not, then it probably doesn't really matter to dump at all.

I usually dump the trub after 24 hrs. My concern with dumping the trub is dropping out the highly flocculating yeast that settle first. That's why I try to remember to drop the trub as early as possible, preferably before high krausen.

I'm rather surprised at that- one in that its not that difficult to see the change from trub to yeast, and two from what I've read and heard from others (pros, experienced posters, etc) , you don't want the most highly floculating yeast - i.e. ones that settle before high krausen anyways - you want from the middle - if you were to consistently select the most flocculant, wouldn't you eventually have attenuation problems?  Maybe you have other reasons for doing this, but I'm lost on the logic here.

Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: bluesman on August 19, 2011, 01:45:23 PM
James

Its really dependent on what you are after.  If you're just worried about fermentation, but don't plan on reusing the yeast, then I probably wouldn't even worry about dumping at all, at any point.  

I feel that Martin's comments are more esoteric to his setup (small batch in a bigger conical) and I entirely understand his logic - though in his case, if I was looking to reuse the yeast, I would brew 5.5-6.5gal batches so that I could dump CB/Dead yeast and harvest a better colony but not worry about not being able to filla  keg.  

I think if you're looking at re-pitching, what I suggested will work well for your system.  If you're not, then it probably doesn't really matter to dump at all.

I usually dump the trub after 24 hrs. My concern with dumping the trub is dropping out the highly flocculating yeast that settle first. That's why I try to remember to drop the trub as early as possible, preferably before high krausen.

I'm rather surprised at that- one in that its not that difficult to see the change from trub to yeast, and two from what I've read and heard from others (pros, experienced posters, etc) , you don't want the most highly floculating yeast - i.e. ones that settle before high krausen anyways - you want from the middle - if you were to consistently select the most flocculant, wouldn't you eventually have attenuation problems?  Maybe you have other reasons for doing this, but I'm lost on the logic here.



The intent of dropping the trub prior to yeast flocculation is that you don't want to drop out the most flocculative yeast (bottom) with the trub. When harvesting yeast you want a representative sample of the yeast...not just the middle or top but you want the most flocculative, the somewhat flocculative and the yeast that remains in insuspension longest, to aid in cleanup of fermentation by-products at late krausen. By harvesting the entire yeast cake and rinsing, one will achieve a clean representative selection of the yeast produced during ferment.
Title: Re: Question for conical users?
Post by: blatz on August 19, 2011, 01:59:33 PM
The intent of dropping the trub prior to yeast flocculation is that you don't want to drop out the most flocculative yeast (bottom) with the trub. When harvesting yeast you want a representative sample of the yeast...not just the middle or top but you want the most flocculative, the somewhat flocculative and the yeast that remains in insuspension longest, to aid in cleanup of fermentation by-products at late krausen. By harvesting the entire yeast cake and rinsing, one will achieve a clean representative selection of the yeast produced during ferment.

First I've seen of that, but maybe its from Chris White's book which I lent to a friend before I've had a chance to read it and I still don't have it back  ;D

FWIW, as I keep saying, I don't discard but maybe <5% of yeast - its very easy to see the change.

I like my method and its very successful for me and the guys I got the idea from;  to each his own.